Flying and Riding high

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March 16th 2014
Published: March 17th 2014
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Friday 14th March - they say all good things come to those who wait. After getting stuck at Raspberry Creek and totally waterlogged we luxuriated in powered campsite with hot showers. Blue skies so Tony booked in for paragliding at Three Cones mountain. Paragliding minibus picked us up and drove up the gravel road for what seemed forever. Finally arrived at the take-off point 1100 metres up! Tony was to be the last flight of the season. Teamed up with Rob, the pilot, and got kitted out. Then it was a case of running off the side of the mountain into the wind and soaring. We were lucky that there was some thermals and updrafts against the side of the mountain which gave narrow columns of uprising air. Before long we were above 1100 metres - awesome. As it was the last flight we were flying for an hour - how lucky is that.

Back to earth without a bump, into the van and off to Queenstown across the Crown Range. Looked for Al's DOC site Moke Lake some 1hr out of Queenstown. After 4km of gravel road Moke Lake came into site - wonderful. We were able to pick
Arrival at Moke Lake DOC SiteArrival at Moke Lake DOC SiteArrival at Moke Lake DOC Site

A wonderful peaceful place at that time
an isolated spot down by the lake so it was glasses of wineBBQ and early night. Woke up to find ourselves surrounded by hundreds of cars - these turned out to be the competitors (400) for 'The Mule'. This is an obstacle and 10k endurance race set up by a British ex-marine (Dougal) and runs along SAS training lines ideal for fun-loving Kiwis. The obstacles included water splashes, fording streams, mud tunnels, 60 degree hill climb and descent as well as numerous man made obstacles. Brilliant fun to watch And just makes you realise what an adventurous nation they are. They even run Mule training camps for old and young. We didn't sign up for that but went for a 2.5 hour walk round the Lake before stripping off and having a refreshing swim in the lake.

Sunday 16th - early start today as Lyn is booked for a high country horse trek through the Ben Lomond Station. Her horse was a beautiful Appalosa mare and she was the only person riding with the guide. Magnificent high mountain passes on the way out and then down through the creeks on the way back. 2.5 hours of pure enjoyment flew
Start of 'The Mule'Start of 'The Mule'Start of 'The Mule'

Not so peaceful with 400 competitors - but great to watch

We've heard there is a cyclone looming in the north but no sign of it here - YET. Moving over to the Caitlin Coast in the next couple of days.


Lyn & Tony

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


Lyn on Alesha the AppaloosaLyn on Alesha the Appaloosa
Lyn on Alesha the Appaloosa

Alesha is the spotty one!
The first obstacle in 'The Mule'The first obstacle in 'The Mule'
The first obstacle in 'The Mule'

The shrieks as they hit the icy water echoed round the mountain!
Emerging from the 'Tunnel'Emerging from the 'Tunnel'
Emerging from the 'Tunnel'

Still smiling inspire of the mud and only 5km to go
Not every team took it as seriously as they shouldNot every team took it as seriously as they should
Not every team took it as seriously as they should

They still completed the course - amazingly
The supporters also took a lighthearted approachThe supporters also took a lighthearted approach
The supporters also took a lighthearted approach

They could afford to - they weren't going through the pain
Lyn & Alesha fording a creekLyn & Alesha fording a creek
Lyn & Alesha fording a creek

One of several to be crossed on the trek
A rider's view of AleshaA rider's view of Alesha
A rider's view of Alesha

Molly & Ellie would love her
Writing up the diary at the end of the dayWriting up the diary at the end of the day
Writing up the diary at the end of the day

Having just had a swim in the lake
Morning mist over Moke Lake Morning mist over Moke Lake
Morning mist over Moke Lake

Peace & calm restored

17th March 2014

Paragliding, trekking and crazy mulers
Brilliant stuff - keep up the good work!! Enjoying the blog. I did my paraglide in Queenstown - but only from a mere 1400 ft and only for about 15 minutes
17th March 2014

What a fantastic time you are both having the blogs are great keep them coming xx

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